When you brush your teeth, do you ever think about the temperature of the water that you’re brushing with? Most people run cold water over their toothbrushes before starting their dental care routines, but some have questioned if hot water may be better. Think about it – when we want to remove dirt and bacteria from our clothes or hands, we usually use hot water, so why don’t dentists tell us to brush with hot water as well.
Recently, The New York Times spoke to Richard Price, a spokesman for the American Dental Association, about this very idea.
“If I can get someone to brush their teeth, I don’t care what the water temperature is, as long as they don’t scald themselves,” Price told the Times.
However, he added that water that is too warm may soften bristles on a toothbrush and make them less effective. Furthermore, water that sits in a hot water tank or lead pipes may be more likely to pick up harmful chemicals and metals than cold water.
Use the right brush
Price also took the opportunity to explain to the Times that picking the right toothbrush can be a difficult task.
“You need a Ph.D. to get through the dental aisle of confusion,” he joked.
Price explained that you should choose a toothbrush the same way you would pick dinnerware or gloves. You want a toothbrush that fits comfortably in both your hand and mouth so you won’t feel uncomfortable using it for at least two minutes, twice a day.
How to pick a brush
WebMD states that when choosing a toothbrush, it’s important to look at the bristles. For most people, soft bristles are the more comfortable and safer choice than medium or hard bristles that may damage the gums, root surface and tooth enamel.
Once you have decided on the size, shape and bristle style that you want for your toothbrush, you need to decide whether you want to go with a manual one or an electric model. WebMD explains that while making this decision, there are many important things to consider.
For example, studies have shown that while there may not be a major difference between the two, an electric toothbrush may be more effective than a manual one. However, these toothbrushes also tend to be more expensive than their traditional counterparts, which is something that you need to keep in mind, especially since you will need to replace the removable toothbrush head as often as you would a manual brush. Though, if an electric toothbrush does keep your teeth cleaner than other types, you may save money in the long run by having less expensive dental bills.
In the end, it all comes down to what you like most. If you enjoy using your toothbrush, then you’ll be more likely to brush twice a day, every day, which is what is recommended by the ADA. Both a manual and electric brush are effective in their own ways, so feel free to use whichever you find more appealing.
When choosing a toothbrush for your children, you’ll want to make sure that it is one that is designed for children and is small enough to fit into their hands. Many children’s toothbrushes feature their favorite cartoon characters, so you may want to pick one out that features a character that you know your children love. This may make them more eager to be able to hold the brush and use it often, especially if you get them an electric brush that makes noises when it is used.
Is there a water temperature you prefer while brushing? Let us know below!